My father died three years ago. I know he died because I was in the hospital room with him as he died. I was at the funeral and even arranged for his ashes to be contained in a Mason Jar. My father loved canning vegetables and had amassed quiet a few cases of the jars. He was also cheap and so it seemed like the logical thing to do. I don’t know if he would have approved, I think he would but I could never really tell with some things. The rest of the family got a few laughs out of it so it was worth the odd stares from the funeral director and the priest who presided over his funeral.
That isn’t what we are here for today.
When my father died none of his affairs were in order. He wasn’t planning on dying, ever, so there was no need, in his mind at least, to get things together.
For weeks following his death we went about changing all of his accounts that were to remain in use, to my mother. If you have ever been through this process you know that a death certificate is necessary to cancel cell phone accounts, cable, bank accounts and anything else that needs to be changed or stopped.
Only weeks before my father died he bought a new car and he changed his cable service to Direct TV. He bought the car because he was one of those people who bought a new car every three years. He switched to Direct TV because he wanted to get a new remote and the Direct TV replacement remote control was the selling point that worked for him.
In addition to getting the new service at his home he also signed up for it at the cabin. And then he died.
Six months after his death we decided it would be best to sell the house. Because we were selling the house we were able to easily cancel the account however that was not to be the case at the cabin. Not for the lack of trying however.
My brother and I didn’t think it was necessary to have TV, or cable, at the cabin. If we are up there we ought to be outside and the kids should too. Given the opportunity the kids will spend the weekend in front of the TV rather than on the lake breathing in fresh air. So we tried to cancel it.
We submitted the death certificate and assumed all would be resolved. Not.
We were not able to cancel the agreement. At this point in time, three years later, I don’t even remember why but we were able to change the package to the lowest possible cost. This fall however we decided to shut the cabin down for the winter since we knew no one would be going there. I called the Direct TV people and asked them to put it on their vacation plan.
Of course they had to verify who I was. I am not my father but I have since learned that his death means nothing to them, they don’t care that we sent in his death certificate numerous times. Somewhere, and not only at Direct TV but on several other accounts as well, the certificate was lost or misplaced or honestly I don’t know what. I suppose we could have stopped paying the bill but that would have pissed off my father. So I told them I was him. Luckily my father had one of those names that could go either way, much like he did for a while.
Since I have learned this handy trick it has made my life much easier. I don’t have to talk to fifteen different people, who don’t usually speak English as a first language, and I don’t have to keep sending him his death certificate.
My father also purchased several time shares in Mexico. Again, we sent in the death certificate but to no avail. We continue to use the time shares so the name problem is not such an issue since my brother is named after my father. He can honestly say that he is named the same name as my father, and he can produce identification when necessary.
Why am I telling you this? I really don’t know, I guess to share with you what a pain it can be when someone dies and when I have little to write about.